An average 67.67 voter turnout was recorded across 14 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. The southern state is witnessing a direct contest between the Congress-JDS alliance and the BJP. The remaining 14 constituencies, mostly in northern districts, will go to polls in the third phase on April 23.
A total of 2,67,51,893 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase with 241 candidates in the fray.
Mandya constituency recorded the highest turnout of about 80.23 per cent, whereas the lowest was recorded in Bengaluru Central constituency at 49.75 per cent, according to poll officials’ statement to news agency PTI. However, the officials added that the numbers are likely to go up beyond the numbers provided at 5 pm.
The other constituencies of the city such as Bengaluru North recorded 50.51 per cent voter turnout. Meanwhile, voting turnout in Bengaluru South was pegged at 54.12 while Bengaluru Rural recorded 64.09 per cent turnout. These are among the constituencies which usually record poor voter turnout.
Dakshina Kannada saw a turnout of 77.7 per cent and was leading until 5 pm.
The Mandya constituency, where state Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil was pitted against multi-lingual actress Sumalatha Ambareesh, is expected to turn out to be a pulsating contest.
The Tumkur constituency, where former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda contested against BJP’s GS Basavaraj, registered a turnout of 77.01 per cent. In Hassan, where Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna was up against BJP’s A Manju, recorded a turnout of 77.28 per cent until 5 pm.
Mysuru, which is the home turf of former chief minister Siddaramaiah and sees a direct contest between BJP sitting MP Prathap Simha and Congress’ Vijayshankar, saw 68.72 per cent polling.
The outcome in four constituencies — Mandya, Mysuru, Tumkur and Hassan—will be closely watched as the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine faces a discord in these regions with grass root party workers reported to be unhappy over the seat-sharing pact. While the party leadership seemed to agree on the seat-sharing pact, party workers expressed their dissent on this arrangement.
Congress and JDS, which had been at loggerheads for decades, had joined hands to form the government after Karnataka assembly polls threw a hung verdict last year.
While the alliance witnessed Congress fielding candidates in 10 constituencies and JD(S) in four seats, BJP contested in 13 constituencies apart from supporting Sumalatha, the independent candidate contesting in Mandya.
While the Congress-JDS combine is trying to put its best foot forward this election season, BJP has also set a target of securing at least 22 out of the total 28 seats, thus continuing to ride on the ‘Modi wave’ which is yet to grip the southern part of the country.
Udupi-Chikmagalur recorded 75.26 per cent polling, Chitradurga 70.59 per cent, Chamarajnagar 73.45 per cent, Chikkaballapur 76.14 per cent and Kolar 75.94 per cent.
Out of the 14 constituencies which went to polls, in 2014, BJP and Congress secured six seats each, while JDS emerged victorious in two.
(with inputs from PTI)